Tag Archives: wholeness

A Peaceful Revolution in Discipleship: Living in 5-D

Praying for a peaceful revolution in Christian discipleship, with millions of “ordinary” believers awakening to God’s presence and power in the midst of daily life. It is possible to enjoy God, become more whole, have healthy relationships, live with purpose, and do today’s tasks as worship. We have more resources than ever before for growth, but often see believers living emaciated lives. We need a fresh vision of “normal” that can inspire hope and propel institutional and personal transformation. Thank God for all our fine pastors and good resources. But there is an “Aha!” moment that must capture our imaginations for real progress.

Here is the revolutionary key: reconceiving the Christian life in terms of dimensions and outcomes instead of categories and classes is the key to fruitfulness. Sermons and Sunday schools, Bible studies and small groups, online and print programs: all of these are the means to a desired end, not the end in themselves! Check out this special Assessment for further understanding: www.discipleshipdynamics.com.

Life is dimensional and integrated, not just a “to do list” of boxes to be checked (yes, it is good to order our day’s activities!). The challenge for each person is understanding what “there” looks like. In other words, what are we aiming for, in principled and practical terms? Hebrews 13:7 offers this advice: “Consider the outcome of their (spiritual leaders) way of life and imitate their faith (both belief and action).” The next verse says, “Jesus Christ is the same, yesterday, today, and forever.”

Being a follower of Christ means imitation Jesus’ attitudes and actions, dispositions and disciplines, with a desire to love God, love our neighbor and make more disciples from every culture. What does this look like in real life? There are five dimensions to our lives that are all part of God’s plan and therefore they are all “spiritual” there is no sacred/secular divide, no separation of Sunday ecstasies and Monday’s ethics. Here are the five dimensions:

  • Loving God with all our being: enjoying and growing in intimacy with the Trinity. This is true spiritual formation and includes all the classical disciples of prayer and Bible study, church attendance and Sabbath-rest, etc.
  • Personal wholeness is an organic fruit of true intimacy with God. We lean to overcome our painful history with hope, manage our negative emotions, see ourselves as loved by God, forgive others and discover inner peace.
  • Healthy relationships are the implication of “loving our neighbor as ourselves.” This include healthy boundaries, sexual purity, good friendships and much more…think of all the great “one another” texts of the Bible.
  • Vocational clarity is the fulfillment of Ephesians 2:10: we are designed for a purpose and we are always more than our current job. Knowing our natural and spiritual gifts, the dignity of our labor and serving with humility should inform our lives daily.
  • All of these dimensions are worked out as we live in a world of economics and work each day! Whether paid or unpaid, labor or leadership, private or public, almost everyone spends their waking hours actively doing something. This is not our secular life nor are our activities merely a means to an end…our work matters to God.

Imagine millions of God-fearing friends awakening to the fullness of God’s intentions and offering all daily activity as worship to God. Imagine seamless integration of evangelism and compassion, for-profit and non-profit efforts, and prayer and the pursuit of justice. A peaceful and powerful revolution indeed.

A Flourishing Life

When I walk into the one of the few regular bookstores still standing, I am arrested by the large self-improvement sections dominating the non-fiction landscape. From physical health (do we need one more diet and exercise book?) to emotional-relational well-being (do these authors all recycle the same principles?) to sexual satisfaction and business success (you get have it all!), we are awash in advice.

Yet. A variety of surveys reveal deep dissatisfaction with everyday work, unhappy marriages and disillusionment with civic, political and religious institutions. We have more data and information, more resources and support groups, more ways of improving ourselves…yet we still find high addiction and divorce rates, static church attendance and deep anger at the political process.

Answers to these challenges begins with vision. What does it mean for a person, a community, a nation to flourish? What does health look like? We need some understanding of the outcomes of our actions to shape our attitudes and behaviors.

As we begin a new year, the January essays on this site will offer insights into, “A Flourishing Life.” We will explore five dimensions of human wholeness that encompass the spiritual, personal, relational, vocational and occupational facets of everyday life. If you are ready for serious assessment and change, go to www.discipleshipdynamics.com and take the first biblically grounded and empirically validates whole life assessment and begin your new future today!

Flourishing begins with faith

If you are determined to reject the notion of a divine being, please stop reading. All the insights that follow rest on the foundation of humility arising from genuine belief in an Infinite-Personal God who created us with purpose and cares deeply about our daily lives. This God is fully known in Jesus Christ and longs for intimacy with us.

The First Dimension of wholeness begins with our spirituality. This is not a vague notion of “the force” or the illusory and impersonal world new ages concepts. The spiritual life begins and ends with humble submission to the Creator and Redeemer who designed us and desires to dwell in and with us.

Jesus said that all the Scriptures are summed up in one Great Commandment: to love God with all our being…and love our neighbor as ourselves. If we love God, we will participate in the pathways he has designed for intimacy and integrity, healthy and holiness. Prayer and Bible reading, church attendance and times of solitude are not ends in themselves, but divine resources for flourishing! Sharing our faith is the overflow of enjoying God, not an obligation to impose religious strictures.

As we begin this flourishing journey, let’s start this new year with simple disciplines that increase our awareness of Christ’s presence and awaken us to the Holy Spirit’s guidance each moment of our busy day. Start with small steps: a few moments of prayer, with gratitude and requests, praises and longings for others. Open the Bible in the Book of Psalms and read one each day, finding a verse to sustain you. Gather with other believers for mutual support. Find some moments of solitude. Let someone know you are a follower of Jesus and invite them to join your quest for growth.

All other Dimensions of wholeness flow from this foundation of receiving and releasing God’s love. Our humility will open doors of destiny as we listen to God each day.